The week leading up to Easter reminds us of the things that ought to be central to our lives all year round. The cross and resurrection are the ground of our hope, and form the shape of our Christian identity. If you are united to Christ, then you have been crucified and raised with Christ (Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:1). Because of this, your life is now hidden with Christ in God; in fact, Christ is your life (Col. 3:3-4).
We need this reminder because Satan would love nothing more than to get us to root our identity elsewhere, even in good religious things. Frankly, he doesn’t care whether we choose something blatantly evil or something pious. As long as we take our eyes off of Christ’s death & resurrection for our sense of self, Satan’s mission is accomplished.
Jesus called the Pharisees “children of the devil”, not because of their immoral lifestyle, but because of their self-righteous unbelief. Satan had them right where he wanted them. For many who bear the name “Christian,” he has successfully used the same tactic. While giving lip-service to Jesus’ death and resurrection, they are functionally trusting in their good works and moral lifestyle. They’ve forgotten that the cross and resurrection are good news only for those who truly believe they are sinners who are without hope, apart from God’s saving mercy.
One of the ways we can prepare our hearts for Good Friday and Easter Sunday is to reflect on where we would be without the cross and resurrection. Had Jesus not become a curse for us, in His crucifixion, we would still be under the curse of sin. Had Jesus not risen from the grave, sin and death would still reign over us. When we realize who we were apart from grace, we are better able to see and celebrate what riches we have received in Christ. This enables us to put to death any remnants of self-righteousness in our hearts and root our identity wholly in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
I hope you’ll join us at 6:30 pm tomorrow evening for our Good Friday Service, as we reflect on Christ’s crucifixion, and again on Easter Sunday as we celebrate the glory of His resurrection! Both of these services are about real historical events that inaugurated the new creation, and made all who are united to Christ by faith into living, breathing, walking new creations.